Austintown, Ohio – November 4, 2009 - The Heidelberg University men’s basketball team was selected to finish seventh in the Ohio Athletic Conference during the 2009-10 campaign as voted on by league head coaches.
Claiming nine first-place votes and a first-place ranking was John Carroll University, the defending regular season champion. Following the Blue Streaks is Wilmington College. Ohio Northern University and Capital are tied in third, while Capital received one first place vote. Marietta College round out the top-five finishers. Baldwin-Wallace College is immediately in front of the Berg, while Otterbein College was selected eighth and Mount Union College and Muskingum University round out the conference.
Heidelberg is under the guidance of second-year head coach Anthony Gholson. A year ago the Berg finished at 8-18 overall and 5-13 in the league. Heidelberg made its 48th appearance in the OAC Tournament, including its third-straight.
With only losing one player due to graduation, Heidelberg will use their experience to their advantage. Taking charge for the Berg will be seniors Josh Calver and Travis Kinn. Both have already exceeded 500 points for their career. Kinn looks to repeat last year’s performance when he led the team with points (415), rebounds (206), and blocks (16). Calver seeks to contribute with his stellar defense and lead by example with his hard work. Leading the team with 91 assists, Calver was also second on the team with 30 steals.
Also looking to account for victories will be continued solid play from senior Jim Smalley. Smalley looks to bring his ability to see the whole court and apply his leadership skills on and off the court. Known for being a game changer, last year Smalley led the team with 34 steals, while standing second in blocks (6) and third in points with 312.
Heidelberg opens action at the Al Van Wie / Rotary Tournament hosted by the College of Wooster, Nov. 20 beginning at 6:00 p.m. Its 2009 home slate begins with Albion College on Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 7:30 p.m.
2009 OAC Preseason Poll (first-place votes)
1. John Carroll 81 pts. (9)
2. Wilmington 62 pts
3. Ohio Northern 58 pts
3. Capital 58 pts (1)
5. Marietta 49 pts
6. Baldwin-Wallace 48 pts
7. Heidelberg 41 pts
8. Otterbein 21 pts
9. Mount Union 20 pts
10. Muskingum 12 pts